Harvard students end protest as university agrees to discuss Middle East conflict

(14 May 2024)

Cambridge, Massachusetts – 14 May 2024
1. Rotem Spiegler talks to a companion while looking at the pro-Palestinian encampment at Harvard Yard
2. Close up of Harvard signage
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rotem Spiegler, Harvard University alumni living on campus:
"The students decided to voluntarily remove the encampment because, according to their statement, they got what they wanted. There are not going to be any penalties, and the university is going to negotiate with them about divestment. This is also according to the message that we got from president this morning."
4. Pan-tilt shot that begins with a wide of the encampment at Harvard Yard and ends with a sign showing a child
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rotem Spiegler, Harvard University alumni living on campus:
"For the Israeli and Jewish community on campus, this is … this is like a slap in the face because, we’ve been nothing but respectful and try to raise our voices and let people understand that this is way more complicated and complex than what these students have been showing for the past seven months, and specifically for the past few weeks while being in the encampment. They’ve been harassing students on campus. They’ve been, you know, like, they occupied the Yard, they terrorized students, they made a lot of noise and mess and have been nothing but disruptive."
6. Various of the pro-Palestinian encampment
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Chloe Gambol, Harvard University student:
"The biggest achievement of the protest, I would probably say is just drawing attention to the problem. A lot of people that aren’t on the news all the time don’t know about … about … about everything that’s going on in Gaza. And I think the point of a protest is to draw attention and to make a scene and make a stand and, I think, definitely achieved that based on what we see on all the news. A lot of people are talking about it."
8. A Harvard University police officer walks toward the encampment
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Chloe Gambol, Harvard University student:
"I just hope that negotiations continue and that the school works with students to … to kind of … to stop being complicit in what’s going on in Gaza. So, yeah, I just hope negotiations continue towards that."
10. Close up of a notice posted on a closed gate saying that Harvard Yard is closed to those without a Harvard identification card
11. Tourists pose for a photo in front of a Harvard gate
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Howard Smith, Senior researcher at Harvard University:
"I’m happy to see the encampment go down. I was not in favor of it. I think the students were very misguided and, basically, historically incorrect and … and morally off base. But I’m pleased that the situation at Harvard was not as crazy as in some other places."
13. Close up of an intricate carving on a gate leading to Harvard Yard
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Howard Smith, Senior researcher at Harvard University:
"I certainly teach my students ‘I hope you learn from everything – you learn from your experiences; you learn from your … your … your friends and your neighbors and other students.’ So, no, I don’t want things to go back to the way they were. I hope people will … will digest this … these episodes and put them in context and and come away with a little bit better understanding of one another, a little more mature, perhaps, way of approaching things."
15. A security guard closes a gate leading to Harvard Yard

Anti-war protesters are taking down their tents in Harvard Yard after the university agreed to meet to discuss their demands.

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